The Climate Crisis

Global warming brings severe consequences, incites drastic impacts

Charlotte Rooney, Opinion Editor

Hotter summers, torrential rain, extreme winters, crazy droughts, higher sea levels and Arctic melting.

The list goes on, but these are all due to climate change. Studies have shown humans may only have a few more years to change the rate of carbon emissions before it’s too late to reverse it.

“Right now we’re past the point of not seeing any changes,” science teacher Kale Mann said. “Climate takes a long time to shift. It’s like a freight train — even when you press the brakes, it takes a long time to stop the train. We’re already seeing these changes, and they will continue to build up over time. The debate on that is over — 90 percent of climatologists will agree that signs of climate change are already happening and will continue to happen.”

Aside from the obvious things that global warming is affecting, it has also influenced higher disease levels in Africa, property loss from the raging wildfires in North America, as well as decreased production and quality of food in South America, according to

If this isn’t enough information, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council Frances Bienecke has called these happenings an “S.O.S to the world.”

According to, we are in the middle of an “extinction crisis.” The normal rate of extinction is between one and five species per year. Right now, scientists believe the die-off rate is 1,000 to 10,000 times the normal rate. This is the highest rate of extinction since the death of dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

Extinction rates wouldn’t be as high as they are if people weren’t in the picture, according to the journal, “Science.” Human intervention, such as deforestation and carbon outputs, as well as mining and habitat destruction and — of course — pollution are said to be the leading reasons for the huge amount of species loss.

According to, the consequences of climate change “will begin to be unacceptably severe.”

Mann said the impact he is most worried about is water supply.

“The Himalayan mountains supply a ton of water,” he said. “The glaciers melt and supply fresh water to three billion people on earth. Those glaciers are probably going to be gone in 50 to 60 years, which leaves a fourth of the population without fresh water. That’s a major concern.”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been pushing countries to raise more awareness about the impacts of global warming.

“We need to push our politicians to lead,” Mann said. “They need to make these changes. There are going to be hard decisions, and it’s going to cost money, but we need to own that. We have one of the highest carbon emission rates of any country.”

Mann said the small things really add up to help climate change.

“Changing the little things we do at home can make a big difference, by using CFL or LED light bulbs or carpooling,” he said. “It seems small, but if we all do it, we can make a huge difference. The United States has the third largest population in the world, so if we all get active with this, we can make a big impact.”